Travelin’ shoes…Got my travelin’ shoes…
Well, that was Bill Staines’s song, but over the last couple of days, I borrowed it over the last few days. I took off in my Subaru Forester and headed west to Lisle, Illinois, for the Folk Alliance Region Midwest, also known as FARM, where bunches of people came together from all parts of the country to share their music, discuss trends in folk and acoustic music, and listen to both official and not-so-official showcases of artists selected by the FARM community. FARM also presented two major awards to recognize people who have made outstanding contributions to the organization, which is one of the regional subsidiaries of the Folk Alliance International.
One of the highlights of these regional meetings, for me, especially, is to participate in the folk DJ discussion groups. About forty people attended a session focusing on how folk musicians can approach folk DJs like me about considering their music for radio airplay. While some people may think that the influence of radio has diminished over the years, the effect that airplay on a folk radio show has for an independent artists is often priceless, especially on a major folk radio station. About a dozen folk radio DJs from various stations answered questions about what musical artists need to consider when making and/or marketing a CD for airplay.
We also participated in a “meet the Folk DJs” sessions, during which artists introduced themselves and passed out their CDs. I listened to many of those CDs on my way home. I so appreciated the time in the car with my trusty Subaru and the factory-installed CD player! So many new vehicles no longer contain factory-installed CD players. I rely on mine so that I can preview CDs for my radio show when I’m on the road.
The other major plus for me was the chance to see one of my favorite singer/songwriters–Connie Kaldor. She came with her two sons and husband. They performed together–she quipped that she had given “birth to her backup band,” with the help of her husband. Her two sons are extraordinarily talented in their own right, but together, the family is, as they might say in Quebec, where they live, magnifique. Connie has a new CD available–“Keep Going.” The chorus says, “Remember when you’re going through hell–keep going!” Great advice.
Driving from Schenectady to Lisle and back, I saw spectacular foliage along the New York State Thruway and beyond. Glorious rads and golds along the waters adjacent to the highways added spice to my listening experience, with the new tunes emanating from my CD player–songs you may be hearing soon on my radio show, http://www.wamc.org/thehudsonriversampler. Hope you’ll check out out one of these days. Maybe you’ll hear some of my new discoveries.
My next adventure will be to the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) in New Jersey, from November 9-12. My friend Kari Estrin and I will drive together to that one. We’ll put on our travelin’ shoes together and ease on down the road. Watch out, Jersey, here we come!